Dozens of firefighters are working this Thursday to control a large island that is destroying part of a warehouse in Sao Paulo Cinematek, which contains at least four tons of historical objects in world cinema and Brazilian history.
Fifteen fire trucks traveled to the vicinity of Vila Leopoldina in the western part of the capital, Sவோo Paulo, and about 50 troops tried tonight to contain the blaze, which began at 6:00 pm local time.
Firefighters’ spokesman Major Marcos Palampo explained that the flames spread rapidly through excess flammable materials stored on the premises, such as videotapes, photographs or photocopies. “By the time we arrived, unfortunately the fire had already spread because we had books, records, tapes, flaming series items,” a spokesman told the Globo News television network.
Industrial sources estimate that the warehouse, which is not the headquarters of Cinemateca, contains at least 2,000 copies of films and four tons of documentary history of cinema, although it is a storage for some items.
According to Palampo, the strong fire spread through a building with an area of about 1,000 meters, although the entire campus is about 9,000 meters, firefighters are actively working to prevent it from reaching the surrounding structures.
“We have set up a barrier to prevent the fire from spreading, so we can control this fire at the ends and put it out quickly,” the spokesman said.
He added that it was not known if there were any victims and what caused the fire to start, but witnesses said the flames had started through the roof of the building, “usually located where electrical installations are located.”